Chinese province uses Alipay QR codes for citizen ID

China to launch e-ID cards for citizens via phone QR codes — Asia Times — “China requires its citizens to produce ID cards for verification when checking in at a hotel, boarding a train or plane or accessing government services. Now with the e-ID card, a user can just tap an Alipay app to show their QR code for similar verification, while leaving their wallet or physical card at home.”


Central bank fines Alipay for breaching data protection regulations

Alipay is stepping up data protection after PBOC fine — Yicai Global — “Alipay, the fintech platform run by Ant Financial Services Group, is looking to improve its data collection processes after China’s central bank fined it for breaching data protection regulations… Alipay published misleading video campaigns and its collection of personal financial information failed to meet minimum security requirements, the regulator said, adding that the firm also used data inappropriately.”


Fake QR code payment scammers arrested in China

Chinese market targeted by scammers who set up fake QR codes to divert payments — South China Morning Post — “A food market in China has been targeted by scammers who used fake QR codes to divert mobile payments into their own account… Three men have been arrested on suspicion of printing out small pieces of paper with the QR codes on them and then sticking them over 60 codes used by traders in Nanjing… The three unemployed men — who were only identified by their surnames Zhao, Zhu and Zhang — reportedly told police they had been inspired by a friend who had made money this way.”


China goes live with QR payments spending cap

China caps store mobile payments at $80 — Nikkei Asian Review — “The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, implemented the caps on Sunday for different types of QR code payments, based on relative risk. For payments made by scanning a printed QR code displayed by the seller, the daily limit is set at 500 yuan (about US$80)… Such popular services as Alibaba Group Holding’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay are affected.”


Apple rolls out support for transit cards in China

Using Apple Pay Express Card features in Beijing and Shanghai — Apple (translation) — “To use the Apple Pay Express Card feature in Beijing or Shanghai, you first need to set up an Apple Pay Transportation Card on your iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or later, or Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2 or later… In Beijing, you can use transportation cards to pay for subways and buses. In Shanghai, you can use transportation cards to pay for subways, buses, ferries and Maglev trains.”


Vehicle vending machine lets drivers book, pay and drive away a test car from their mobile phone

Ford, Alibaba roll out test-drive services via ‘auto vending machine’ — China Automotive News — “Users can book a test drive via the Alibaba’s Taobao mobile app or the Tmall platform. Entering a key word of ‘super test drive’, users can follow the instructions from the interface to select the vehicles they want and the time to have the test drive. To schedule a test drive, users should submit their basic information and upload their selfies on the platform. Besides, they need to pay some test drive fees and the money for vehicle purchasing intention. After all these done, consumers can pick up their test vehicle via a facial recognition at the ‘super test drive center’ in Guangzhou to enjoy a three-day ride.”


Beijing Metro to replace NFC ticket gates with QR codes?

Mobile phone payment to smooth out Beijing subway rides — The Beijinger — “Beginning in May, commuters will be able to pay for their fares on the Beijing Metro by using electronic payment systems like Alipay. All entrance gates to subway stations in the city will be equipped with QR code sensors… The new feature is not related to last year’s feature that allowed Beijing commuters to enter city subways using near field communication (NFC) technology… The Beijing Metro intends to phase out NFC technology at its entrance gates at an unspecified future date.”


China opens up its payments market to foreign companies

China allows foreigners to enter $27tn payments market — Bloomberg — “Foreign players can start applying for payment licenses and will be treated the same as local firms, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement on Wednesday. Applicants must set up local units, establish payment infrastructure — including disaster recovery systems — and store client information domestically, the central bank said.”






768m Chinese used WeChat to send a red packet money gift this New Year

WeChat red packet users record new high during lunar New Year holiday — Xinhua — “About 768 million people used the service during the holiday, rising 10% compared with last year’s holiday… Someone from the east Chinese city of Nanchang was the luckiest user, receiving 3,429 red packets, while one generous user from west China’s Chongqing Municipality gave 2,723 red packets.”


Alipay parent Ant Financial to go public at a $100bn valuation?

China’s Ant plans equity fundraising at potential $100 billion valuation — Reuters — “China’s Ant Financial Services Group is planning to raise up to US$5bn (£3.59bn) in fresh equity that could value the online payments giant at more than US$100bn… A fundraising would bring Ant, in which e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is taking a one-third stake, a step closer to a hotly anticipated initial public offering.”


Apple to accept Alipay mobile payments at its stores in China

Apple brings Alibaba-linked payment system into China stores amid market push — Reuters — “The tie-up will make Alipay, run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, the first third-party mobile payment system to be accepted at any physical Apple store worldwide… The Cupertino-based firm will accept Alipay payment across its 41 brick-and-mortar retail stores in China.”


Chinese mobile payment platforms are now used by 527m people

China’s mobile payment users hit 527 million in 2017 — ECNS — “China had a total of 527m mobile payment users at the end of last year, up by 57.8m from a year before… WeChat Pay, one of China’s major mobile payment service providers, attracted over 800m validated users by September 2017. The number of monthly offline payments was 280% higher than that from a year ago… Alipay, the online payment platform under ecommerce giant Alibaba, launched in 36 overseas destinations, benefiting hundreds of thousands of merchants. Overseas transactions surged by 306% in the last year when compared with 2016.”


Mobile payments gain ground in China’s 600,000 villages

China’s village people fast to adopt mobile payments — South China Morning Post — “The mainland market for mobile payment transactions, which reached US$5.5tn in 2016, is poised for further expansion as many consumers and businesses go cashless in more than 600,000 villages across the country… These villages are administratively categorised below townships, counties, cities and provinces.”


China’s central bank sets out digital currency plans

PBOC official pushes for centralized state digital currency — Coindesk — “Unlike most cryptocurrencies, the CBDC [Central Bank Digital Currency] might not operate via a peer-to-peer mechanism, which brings the key features of anonymity and untraceability… Transactions using CBDC will be visible to the central bank, which would function as a third party to bring oversight on potential money laundering and illegal financing.”


UnionPay: NFC mobile payment volumes are ‘growing quickly’ in China

Apple Pay growing fast but still bit player in China: UnionPay — Caixin — “Two years after their launch in China, a group of third-party mobile payment services led by global giant Apple Inc make up only a small fraction of contactless payments in the country, but the number is growing quickly… About 20% of UnionPay’s 94tn yuan (US$14.2tn) in annual transaction volume now comes from near field communication (NFC) technology payments.”


Tencent opens up WeChat Pay to overseas credit card holders

WeChat Pay now allows users to bind overseas credit cards — Technode — “Expats living in China and residents of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan — places where WeChat is ambitiously expanding its user base — can now bind and activate WeChat Pay accounts with credit card services provided by MasterCard, Visa, and JCB… This is the first time users are able to use WeChat Pay without having a Chinese bank account or credit card.”


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